Beach Access

Public spaces include access points and beaches.

  • The public has an inherent right of access to and along all beaches and shorelines. Generally, local authorities have the primary authority to develop and maintain public access to and along the shorelines.
  • Existing public coastal access opportunities must be retained, new or increased public access opportunities should be provided, and development must not be allowed to interfere with public access. Furthermore, beaches that provide access for water-oriented recreational activities should be protected for such uses.
  • The public should be afforded full and fair access to beaches, which are public trust resources, by minimizing the possibility of impediment; including development, subdivision or land use zoning change; or deterring obstacles, including gates, fences, hired security, misleading signage, rock walls, shrubbery or other blockades, being placed upon public rights of way to beach access.
  • Means of access to the beach (“vertical” or “perpendicular access”) should be readily available and secured so as to maximize access along the coast and should not be overly burdensome for the potential beachgoer to utilize.
  • There exists a cultural value of active visitation to the beach as part of traditional, historical and/or customary practices.
  • Wherever appropriate, public facilities, including parking areas, showers, bathrooms, changing areas and other amenities, should be made available in a manner that mitigates the adverse impacts, environmental, social or otherwise of public access.